Sara’s Blog: Can you spare a few hours to inspire the next generation of our workforce?

It is well documented that Staffordshire lags other counties in academic achievements and career aspirations.  Many local employers struggle to fill roles and the situation has been made worse by the pandemic.  Every young person deserves the best possible start, and this should not be determined by background or geography.

And as the economy is set to boom, post-pandemic, it is not a shortage of vacancies that is the problem, but a shortage of applicants with the requisite skills and work ethic.

As a Chamber we are fully behind our young people and believe that by acting now, we can all help inspire the future Staffordshire workforce.

Several local businesspeople are already giving their time as an enterprise advisor with the national Careers & Enterprise Company.

The Careers & Enterprise Company exists to facilitate a world-class careers education, inspiring and preparing young people for the world of work.  They support schools and colleges across England to deliver excellent careers education, responsive to individual pupil needs and underpinned by the internationally recognised Gatsby Career Benchmarks.

One of the enterprise advisors in Staffordshire is Julie Mirowski. Many of you will be familiar with Julie as she is also a director of the family business, Newcastle-under-Lyme based, Rydale Roofing and a member of the board of directors of Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce.

Julie says of being an enterprise advisor at Chesterton High School: “It’s so important that we get as many advisors into our schools as we can.  Schools are often dealing with children whose parents don’t work so they have no role model to inspire them to achieve.  As a woman working in the construction industry, I have had a rewarding career and I therefore feel a duty to inspire school children to consider opportunities they would not otherwise have thought of.

“I have worked with Year 10 students at Chesterton high School on the Career Ready Programme which has modules such as behaviour at work and mock interviews.  You can really see a marked change in the students’ behaviour and motivation as sessions progress.  It’s often as if a light has been switched on as they go from not making eye contact, to seeing that they have the potential to achieve a fulfilling life”

Julie has also joined the recently formed Young People’s Working Group established by Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce to explore ways in which we can support young people into work.

I know there are potentially many more businesspeople like Julie who can invest time in working with and inspiring young people to aim high in their work lives and appreciate the rewards that come with this.

 We need more enterprise advisors in Staffordshire, with a genuine interest in the best future for our young people and for our economy to consider giving a few hours a month to become a Careers & Enterprise Company enterprise advisor.

If you are interested in finding out more about becoming an enterprise advisor, or joining the Young Peoples Working Group please contact Vicki Hardie or visit The Careers & Enterprise Company (

 Also, a quick reminder that there is just over a month to get your entries in for the Staffordshire Chambers Business Awards 2021.

Entries close on 24th September and are open to any business based in Staffordshire. Shortlisted entrants will be notified following the judging and a special gala award event – both live and streamed – will take place in November.

More information on the awards and entry details:

If you want to talk to us about any other business issues, including funding, you can call our switchboard on 01782 202222 or call the Stoke and Staffs Growth Hub Helpline on 0300 111 8002 or email:

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